Germany has taken a dominant lead going into the cross country at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle.
In the team standings, the Germans are in the Gold medal position, while Sandra Auffarth leads the individual competition with Opgun Louvo.
Ahead of the cross country, reigning world champion Sandra commented: “Today was good but tomorrow is a new day. I’m really focussed and concentrating on tomorrow – it’s a tough cross country course. We have to concentrate from start to finish. He (Opgun Louvo) is a good cross country horse and has a lot of experience so I hope we have fun.”
The German team’s last rider into the arena today was Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob. They
produced a fluent test to score 37.8 penalties to put them eighth individually. She said: “I am very pleased because Horseware Hale Bob did such a wonderful job. He was very excited so maybe he thought it was cross country but then he was so soft and listening so it was easy to ride him. He has to collect points by doing everything correctly and that’s what he did.”
The final member of the British team to complete their dressage was William Fox Pitt with Bay My Hero. The combination posted a score of 43.0 penalties.
After all four team riders have performed their dressage test, Germany has a lead of 9.8 penalties over Great Britain who are in the silver medal position. France lie in the Bronze medal position followed by Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.
There has been a lot of talk about the German’s retaining their title, but Hans Melzer, Chef D’Equipe of the German team, believes this is a positive thing. He said: “Pressure is sometimes good. I think they can work with this pressure from last year when they won the world games. But we know this is a difficult cross country. But we are very excited, and the riders and horses are fit – we had a good preparation and the horses are all well so hopefully we have a good day tomorrow.”
German team member Dirk Schrade said: “We walked the course together and individually with our trainer Chris Bartle and we have a good feeling as a team. Some horses it suits better and some not so good. But in total we are really looking forward and we have to fight tomorrow. Hopefully we can finish tomorrow like we did today.”
Britain’s Holly Woodhead goes into tomorrow’s cross country lying in the Silver medal position with team mate Nicola Wilson lying in fourth. Third individually is reigning European champion Michael Jung and fischerTakinou.
Cross country starts at 11am. First on course will be Theo Van De Vendal on Zidane for the Netherlands. The British riders will set out on cross country as follows: Kitty King 11.16, Gemma Tattersall 11.44, Sarah Bullimore 11.48, Holly Woodhead 11.52, Laura Collett 11.56, Nicola Wilson 12.24, Izzy Taylor 13.24, Oliver Townend 13.28, Pippa Funnell 14.00, Wills Oakden 14.40, Francis Whittington 14.52, William Fox-Pitt 15.16.
Eventing Worldwide will keep you up to date with all the latest action as it happens.
Photography courtesy of Dave Cameron and TB Photographic
Top 10 standings after dressage:
1; Sandra Auffarth, Opgun Louvo (GBR), 31.4
2; Holly Woodhead, DHI Lupison (GBR), 31.7
3; Michael Jung, FischerTakinou (GER), 33.5
4; Nicola Wilson, One Two Many (GBR), 34.6
5; Thibault Vallette, Qing du Briot (FRA), 36.8
6; Kitty King, Persimmon (GBR), 36.9
7; Francis Whittington, Easy Target (GBR), 37.5
8. Ingrid Klimke, Horseware Hale Bob (GER), 37.8
9; Laura Collett, Grand Manoeuvre (GBR), 37.8
10; Niklas Lindback, Cenrillon (SWE), 38.1
Other GBR Results
11; Sarah Bullimore, Lilly Corrine, 38.2
13; Oliver Townend, Fenyas Elegance, 38.7
19; Pippa Funnel, Sandman 7, 41.0
23; William Fox-Pitt, Bay My Hero, 43.0
26; Izzy Taylor, KBIS Briarlands Matilda, 44.0
30; Wills Oakden, Greystone Midnight Melody, 46.4
35; Gemma Tattersall, Arctic Soul, 47.3
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